The Restless Heart

Submitted by  Jon Thompson

The town of Dudley, Illinois is a small peaceful place.  The only sound that routinely interrupts its quiet serenity is the hum of plows and tractors as the local farmers work and harvest their crops.  But lately the quiet night air has been broken by something new . . . the screams of terrified civilians.  Something is stalking the people of Dudley, something cunning and hungry.

Five have been found dead already.  Three were murdered in their sleep, while two others were murdered alone in their homes late at night.  Two more have gone missing, both children.  If something is not done soon, then the citizens will soon be up in arms.

No one knows who is behind these murders and disappearances.  Some say it is a local exacting some sort of cruel and systematic revenge, some say it is a stranger from out of town, while others fear the wrath of the supernatural.  In a way, they are all right. 

Jarvis Beaumont was a resident of Dudley, who passed away several years ago in a strange accident.  He was not well liked by many of the citizens, though he was a good man.  What far too many of the citizens know, but refuse to admit, is that Jarvis was murdered by a gang of locals for unknown reasons.  The accident was a simple cover-up.  What they do not know is that Jarvis has come back as an astral zombie to exact his revenge.

As an undead creature, Jarvis has come back quite changed.  He is not the innocent, but embittered man that he used to be.  Now he is vengeful and vindictive spirit with both the means the will to murder not only those that were responsible for his murder, but also their friends and family, as well as all those who have known about the murder and refuse to speak up.  This, of course, is just what Jarvis is doing --exacting a slow revenge, killing people one by one, starting with those on the outer edge of the circle.  The actual murderers will be saved for last (the grand finale).

This adventure idea is low key, and may be appropriate for lower level characters.  Players will most likely play towns members or drifters passing through.  For the most part, this is a straight cut supernatural murder mystery.  The resolution can vary a great deal.  The players may always stop Jarvis by killing him, but trying to accomplish things like getting witnesses to speak out and perhaps even bringing the killers to justice is not out of the question.  Who knows how Jarvis might react to such an outcome, but it might just be enough for him to start letting people alone.

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